Archive for Family Life

Yet Another Reason I Will Not Be Mother of the Year

I mentioned recently that Football Boy had had a mole removed on his arm.  He has been a little trooper, going through daily sessions of cleaning the wound and changing the dressings.  He has been a tough little cookie as we have had to rip the bandages off  over and over (although, he did insist we stop using the huge square bandaids that removed the first two layers of skin every time it was removed, and opt instead for gauze and medical tape).  He has asked questions and made sure everthing was healing up okay and yesterday (Sunday) the big day arrived when Daddy got to remove the stitches.  They tried to convince me to do it–yeah, right!  Anyway, daddy removed the stitches and all was well.  He proudly showed off his scar at church yesterday and we thought we were through.  Until last night.  Now, let me say, I am sleep deprived (both from having four children and from a weekend Women’s conference) and the children are sleep deprived so we were not “at our best”.  We got home from church and started the Sunday Night routine:  Eat a bowl of cereal, brush your teeth, etc.  Only the children were not doing it with the speed and precision that I would have liked, so I was getting just a tad cranky.  We finally got them in their beds and I walked upstairs to find my bathroom COVERED in toothpaste, which really irritated me and then Tigerfan found a stash of ten T-shirts hidden all over the boys’ closet where they had deposited them in lieux of actually, you know, hanging them up.  They got out of bed to clean up and it was at that point my sweet, compassionate mommy side sort of disappeared.  Soon after,  Football boy came downstairs to talk to Tigerfan.  It seems that, as he was hanging clothes, he jabbed a hanger into his wound and reopened it.  He was okay until Tigerfan squeezed it ( I have no idea why he would do that) and it started bleeding again.

Oh, people!  He LOST it!  He went into a full blown panic attack:  Am I going to be okay?  What are we going to do?  Tears are pouring, breathing is erratic!  Am I going to bleed to death?  You get the picture.  And this is where my finest moment came in.  because, you see, I have a tendency to be a little sarcastic.  And while I realized he was scared, I could see that this was really not the end of the world, it was really okay.  And so, in a moment to make all mothers proud, I said.  “No, honey, you are Not going to be okay.  Let’s go upsatirs and Mommy will just cut off that part of your arm!”  I am not kidding.  That is really what I said!  It was a bad choice!  The panic escalated and it took a while, some sweet talk, some tylenol, some bandages,an elevated arm and a LOT of praying to calm him down.

This morning, I am letting him sleep.  Tigerfan is calling the doctor as soon as they open.  And I, well, I am keeping my mouth shut!

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Myth Buster

As has become the norm as of late, I have had a little trouble finding the time to do much blogging.  I have had this little post in mind for a few days however so this morning, before the rush of starting school begins, I am going to try.

Last week was a bit of a rough, busy week.  The events of the week left me challenging two commonly held recommendations for families. 

1.  Teaching your children to do household chores is good for them, teaching them responsibility…yada, yada, yada, and relieving some of the duties of mom.  Until this last week, I have bought into this one hook, line and sinker.  My three oldest make their own beds, sort their own laundry, set the table, etc.  Football boy can do a load of laundry from start to finish.  I have learned (with difficulty) the art of praising the effort of folding the towels and I wait to refold them my way until no one is looking!  I turn my eyes when Baseball boy “hangs” his own t-shirts by putting them in the closet between two other shirts and squeezing them together really tight so he doesn’t have to go to the effort of, you know, getting a hanger.  My sweet little ones have even been scrubbing the bathrooms for some time now.  And there, my friends, lies the problem.  I have allowed myself to live in an oblivious place where pre-adolescent children actually clean things.  This revelation came this week when the stomach bug attacked me and I had a very close encounter with every commode in my house.

I have always retained bathroom duty in my master bath–it is only right.  So, when my unfortunate meetings with porcelain began, everything was okay.  But as the day progressed…other “thrones” (so to speak) began calling to me as well and these little meetings were, well, disgusting.  The smell alone surely extended the life of my little bug.  Toilets that are “scrubbed” every other day were nauseating–literally!  There was evidence of little boys’ lack of ability to hit a target everywhere!  How could I have missed this?

I think as a public service, I must ammend this commonly held belief.  Yes, teach your kids to fold laundry, teach them to empty a garbage can, show them how to dust the furniture.  But if there are germs or bodily fluids involved–take care of it yourself.  Believe me, it is worth it!

2.  The second theory I would like to challenge is this–and don’t judge me, I am trying to help!  I am not entirely convinced that family meals around the table really do promote closeness and family unity.  Just hear me out.

Let me give you a picture of our family at meal time.  I have spent all day, alone, with four children.  Baby probably has not taken a nap because he has three older siblings who make sure of that.  The laundry is piled, well, everywhere.  The house was vacuumed once last month–although the appliance is sitting out in the middle of the floor because I totally intend on doing it–sometime.  The boys have played playmobile which means every room in the entire house is covered in tiny little men and I must continue to rescue baby from choking on a pirate.  Dancer is screaming for me to come watch her dance recital.

I finally begin dinner.  I call to the kids to begin cleaning up and ask them to come set the table.  Around this time Tigerfan gets home and his OCD kicks into high gear as he begins having convulsions at the state of his abode.  We finally settle down and begin supper.  After a knock down, drag out fight over who is going to pray, the food is blessed and all the children get up because they “forgot” to wash their hands before sitting down.  I use the term sitting down loosely.  For some reason unbeknownst to me, boys seem to have an inability to sit on their bottoms.  The closest they come is a half sit/half stand position with one foot under them and one foot on the floor.

I look around, Dancer is sitting!  I give her some positive reinforcement!  Suddenly, the boys remember how to sit–until B.B. realizes he forgot the ketchup he must drown his food in.  He hops up to get it from the refrigerator.  When he returns–he forgets how to sit again.  I comment on how nicely F.B. is sitting!  Dancer begins crying because SHE is sitting to.  B.B. then fusses because he was sitting but he had to get up and he just forgot and I ALWAYS pick on him!  Suddenly, F.B. looks at supper and discovers nutritionally sound food on his plate.  He is no longer hungry…can he be excused.  No, eat!  In the next few minutes, a drink will be spilled, the baby will start screaming, the children will fight over who is eating better, faster, weirder… and F.B. will begin gagging at the disgusting meal I have tried semi hard to prepare.  By the end of our lovely meal, we will not have discussed the events of the day or planned some family together time.  In all likelihood, I will be mad and my feelings will be hurt because no one liked my low-fat,low taste but high fiber and vitamin meal, Tigerfan will be stressed because there are grapes smashed on the floor and the children will be mad because in all likelihood they are now going to bed early. 

I say, order in, eat outside, and bond over an ice cream cone at Baskin Robbins.  That, my friends, will be much more effective in promoting family unity!

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